Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who holds the municipality education portfolio, today opened the 2017-2018 school year and toured education institutions in the city: the Eucalyptus kindergarten on Walter Abeles Street in the Arnona neighborhood, the Givat Mordechai State Religious School, and the Yaffe Nof state school.
During the tour of the education institutions, the Mayor congratulated the pupils, teachers, and administrators, wishing them a successful school year, a year of innovation, learning, and growth. Mayor Barkat emphasized, “This is the most exciting day of the year for me. This year, we opened 316 new classes for every age and every community in Jerusalem. It is very exciting to enter a school today and see the first graders. We have a great privilege to live and study in Jerusalem, and I wish you a year of peace, good tidings, and successful studies.”
Mayor Barkat added, “30% of Jerusalem’s residents are pupils, but they are 100% of the city’s future. The Jerusalem Municipality therefore constantly strives to narrow the differences between classes and to add study programs and value content.”
During the tour, the Mayor dedicated new kindergarten buildings on Water Abeles Street and welcomed the children entering pre-mandatory and mandatory kindergarten. He joined the welcoming ceremony for first graders at the Givat Mordechai State Religious School together with Jerusalem Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Arie Stern, and Mr. Zevulun Orlev.
At the end of the tour, Mayor Barkat visited the Yaffe Nof state school, together with Minister Ophir Akunis, where an inauguration ceremony was held for the renovated building and dedication of a mezuzah.
585 more pupils in Zionist education, 27 outstanding schools, and three new schools
For the past nine years, since Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat entered office, the number of pupils in Zionist education in Jerusalem has increased, reversing a decline of more than ten years. This trend continues in the 2017-2018 school year. Moreover, the number of pupils registering for kindergartens and elementary schools in the Zionist education system (the state system and the state religious system) in the capital grew by more than 580 pupils, alongside the steady growth in the haredi and Arab sectors.
Alongside the construction of ten new kindergartens and ten new schools in all the communities in the city, the Jerusalem Municipality invested approximately NIS 84 million in renovating and upgrading education institutions in the city ahead of the state of the 2017-2018 school year. We renovated kindergarten classrooms and yards, undertook current maintenance, and carried out thorough renovations of schools across the city in order to renew and adapt them for the coming school year.
A new flagship elementary education program, Renewal, which enables schools to realize their educational dreams through innovative and alternative teaching programs has also been inaugurated. Approximately 9,000 pupils at 30 schools are participating in the program this year, at a cost of NIS 4.8 million.
Photographs: Jecky Levi